Most people know LN Engineering and Nickies™ are synonymous with one another. 

LN has been offering Nickies for over 15 years and Nickies for the M96 engine for most of that time as well. Although we may have not been the first, our unique solution which requires us to machine out the original cast in sleeve allow us to install a billet aluminum, NSC plated sleeve in its place.

Our sleeves are located in the block by the remaining parent metal in the crankcase side of the block. All cylinder material in the water jacket area is replaced with the installation of our stepped aluminum sleeve, which is bonded to the block, rather than press fit. The sleeve is sandwiched between the head and the bottom of the waterjacket, so it is incapable of moving.

  • For our normal Nickies™ process, we retain the open deck design as it provides superior cooling and cylinder concentricity. Closed deck designs are typically stronger, but the high tensile strength alloy used in making Nickies more than overcomes this weakness coupled with the fact the sleeves are billet and not cast.

  • Only on blocks requiring repair from damage to the cylinders below the water jacket do we use a closed deck process which reinforces the block after we remove the parent metal from the crankcase side of the block.

Are there any downsides, then?

If anything, it's lead time.

Our exclusive process is competitive price-wise with inferior steel sleeving used by some builders, but our turnaround isn't as good. It's just the nature of the process. 

Block has to be first machined, then sleeves made and fitted to the block. Those sleeves need to then be plated, installed, and finish honed. The very last step is the deck is surface ground to the correct finish for the supplied MLS head gaskets. This process takes on average 4-6 weeks.

So what are my options?

RND Engines

Those looking for a stock displacement engine can get an engine from RND Engines on exchange through their preferred independent shop from SSF Auto Parts.

These engines come fitted with Nickies, and IMS Retrofit, and other upgrades, all with a one year/12k mile warranty.

Alternatively, those willing to wait for a shop to rebuild their engine can for no extra cost over a stock sized engine get a boost in displacement which increases horsepower and torque, all while addressing all the major weaknesses of the M96 engine. 
Want to rebuild your own engine?
Do-it-yourselfers can attend classes at The Knowledge Gruppe.

We have had many customers with little M96-related experience successfully rebuild their own engines, but realize that there is a high learning curve and where you may save on not having to pay labor, you will have easily 80 hours in doing your first rebuild and will have tools that will need to be purchased to be able to assemble the engine. Ultimately you probably won't save any money, but you will have the satisfaction of being able to say you rebuilt your own engine and that's something even some professionals can't lay claim to.
Join TKG Classes on M96 Engine Rebuild - few seats left for last online and hands-on classes in 2017!

Visit for details and sign up online!